Ready for the challenge



Japan’s banks still have some pretty hefty hurdles to overcome. The country’s economy remains locked in the doldrums, which has led to the unrelenting emergence of new non-performing loans (NPLs). Meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 stock index dropped 28% in the 2002 fiscal year, which has resulted in bloated unrealised losses on the balance sheets of the major banks. To add a little more frisson to their predicament, the effective nationalisation of the country’s fifth largest banking group,

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